MTV, Nickelodeon, and Other ViacomCBS Networks Go Off the Air for Eight Minutes to Honor George Floyd


At 5 p.m. on Monday, MTV, Nickelodeon, and eight other ViacomCBS networks went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd, and in support of social justice.

Most of the ViacomCBS networks aired the same message — a dark background with the words “I can’t breathe” displayed intermittently against the sounds of breathing, along with a running clock on top of the screen. Nickelodeon aired an alternate version — an orange background displaying the message “Nickelodeon is going off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in support of justice, equality, and human rights.” It then displayed what it billed a “declaration of kids’ rights” on a running scroll.

In an internal memo (reported by the Washington Post), Chris McCarthy — president of ViacomCBS entertainment — explained the decision to pull the networks off the air.

“While I am not a person of color and can never fully understand this experience, I am offended by the systemic racism, and want to stand together with our communities of color in the hurt and pain,” McCarthy wrote. “We must all do our part — discrimination against one of us is discrimination against all of us.”

The networks resumed regular programming at approximately 5:09 p.m.

Watch above, via MTV.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo